Last week, I was reading about a woman’s quest to be intentional as she extended herself to three strangers in an act of kindness. I liked the idea so much that I decided to join her. That particular morning, the sun was shining brightly upon our town and it made the challenge that much more exciting. My attention was drawn to a particular man. It wasn’t just the fact that my heart sank as I watched him digging through garbage cans for bottles and food, it was also the way the sun highlighted his face. He was on a mission. The large bag on the back of his bicycle displayed the many hours of hard work by its height. It also seemed to represent another product of a life, wounded-ness.
I took a moment and watched him as I conversed with the Lord. I couldn’t help but wonder how he got to this place. Did he have a family? If so, did they try to help him? What areas of his life were broken? What scars left him to feel as if he were worth nothing more than the scraps inside a garbage can? I decided to get a warm meal and bring it back to him. As I approached the area where his bicycle was parked, I took a moment to pray. Then I asked, “Can I offer you a meal?” More than anything, I wanted him to know…I noticed. I wanted him to know that God noticed him. I handed him the food. He smiled slightly, in a coy way. Though the smile emerged, it was accompanied by a sense of shame that surrounded him. The way he said thank you was telling. His voice was soft and sweet, but his eyes said something different as they lowered to the ground. No other words needed to be spoken, I could tell that it mattered to him.
He went back to his quest. And as I was driving away, I thought about how many people probably passed him by that day. I also thought about the people that didn’t notice him at all. Then I looked within my own heart and questioned it. Would I have noticed him had I not been intentionally challenged that day? How many of us have become desensitized to the pain that lives deeply in the heart of others? How many of us get too busy to even notice? It made me think about all the times that I had felt overlooked, the times I was saturated in darkness and simply needed someone to take notice of my pain.
I wonder how many times you have gone through places in your life where you found yourself desperately seeking to fill the void, needing someone to come and meet you right where you were at, in your struggle. We all have been at these places at some point. No one is exempt from experiencing pain from this world. It can seem so cold, at times. Many of us go on coping in different ways. Some of us will find healing, some of us will continue to stay stuck. But what if we could be confident, knowing we do not have to carry the burden alone? We are not ignored by the God who created us. He knows our darkest hour, he is there when we are suffering. He knows our pain. He knows our life-story. He knows because he is the one who designed our hearts in the image of his.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13 NIV
Today, if you find yourself in a place of darkness, a place of weariness, please consider the comfort knowing you are not alone. There is someone who wants to meet you in this place. God wants to walk with you on your journey. He wants you to know, I want you to know, you are noticed, and YOU MATTER!
Lord, my heart cries out for all of your children who are struggling in darkness. Open troubled hearts. Increase the desire to know you more. Today, wrap the wounded in Your presence, Lord. Give them a place of comfort and rest in You. Bring light to their dark places, right now, and in this moment, as they are reading this. Speak softly, so that their ears can be open to hear You, Lord. I have seen Your power work in my own life. I believe in Your abundant work of restoration in their life. Help bring someone into their life that will walk with them with intentional notice. May the hurting meet You in the place You have been waiting, always.
In Jesus Name, I pray, Amen.
~ Baring His Beauty,